An Australian Wine Blog

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Angullong Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Very much of a tropical bent, of Passionfruit and Guava. Creates an inviting aroma that certainly would real the imbiber in.

Has a certain amount of zest and swagger on entry, combined with the aromatics it creates an attractive proposition from the get go. Sensitively handled, avoiding the overt - and over extracted - examples that, for me, give the style a bad rep. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 16th January
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.angullong.com.au/

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d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original Grenache Shiraz 2017

McLaren Vale Grenache leads clearly here, raspberry and mulberry establishing fruit primacy; hints of earth warmed by the summer sun, oak remnants.

Darker at its heart than aromatics initially suggest, more of the earthen notes, suggestions of liquorice and spice - black pepper, clove - adding depth through the middle. 

Length to boot, all coming together in what appears a fine release. 91 

Tasted on: Monday 10th February 
Source: Sample
Price: $20
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.darenberg.com.au/

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Opawa Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Pretty, inviting; hints of cassis, strawberry and raspberry elements. Touch of residual sweetness and a brisk clip of acidity racing across the palate. 

Finishes dry and with a reasonable length of flavour. Good Pinot based Rosé. 89 

Tasted on: Sunday 12th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: TBC
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.opawawine.com/

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Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Yalumba Y Series Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Sauv Blanc such a maligned - and abused - variety, yet it sells by the bucketload. 

This entry level example from Yalumba’s bargain brilliant ‘Y’ series aromatically speaks of zesty grapefruit with some tangy lemon in support. Subtle tropical hints add some aromatic flesh to the citrus zip.

The palate shows quite narrow, a focussed line offering a clean line of acidity. Hints of green melon and subtle herb - and in Sauvignon Blanc that is a good thing - add to the overall equation.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to a cost cautious fancier of the variety. Subtle, yet still carrying flavour, can be found easily for $10-12. 88 

Tasted on: Thursday 16th January
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Oakridge Merlot 2013

Yarra Merlot at 7y, fleshy and meaty; juxtaposition of Plum and damson like fruit amongst that.

Slick, almost glycerol like, oak remnants - on a 7y old - spice and touches of black olive across the palate. Finishes strong, assertive and yet balanced. 92 

Tasted on: Saturday 8th February
Source: Cellar Door
Price: $30
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.oakridgewines.com.au/

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Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Mesh Classic Release Riesling 2014

Billed as a 'Classic Release', released at 5/6 years of age. 

Classic, as in showing the typical development of Riesling with some age, being that petroleum and lanolin character - the latter more often associated with aged Semillon, but also a sheep's wool descriptor.

Lemon butter and nuances, the acid has certainly softened, perhaps butter menthol like elements in the mix. There's a quartz and mineral like acidity to the finish, it's certainly not subsided - softened perhaps, yes - and speaks volumes of its ageworthy potential. 93

Tasted on: Saturday 11th January
Source: Sample
Price: $38
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.meshwine.com/

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Bremerton Special Release Grenache 2019

Not particularly common as a single varietal in the Creek. On this showing I'd suggest that we should.

Sees one third whole bunch. The whole bunch certainly shows its hand, lending an elegant spice and sappy edge to the briar and black fruit notes. The palate, soft and elegant, carries a framework of spice with a fine and succulent tannin. 

It certainly is an elegant wine, showing Grenache in its Pinot-esque guise - and I'm not afraid to draw the comparison between two otherwise very different varieties - as it can be given the right treatment. 92 

Tasted on: Thursday 24th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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Monday, 10 February 2020

Pewsey Vale Riesling 2019

Clare and Eden, two perfect names for daughters that may never come to be - sharp of wit, and longevity. Contrived, maybe. But nonetheless two Powerhouse regions - being Clare and Eden Valleys of course - when it comes to Riesling in an Australian context

This Pewsey Vale, part of the broad Yalumba/ Hill-Smith portfolio, from the get go enticing and of an alluring perfume. Floral, more by way of Jasmine and with a scent of lavender in the mix, typically I think lime for Eden Valley, yet I’m not seeing so much of that here. Shows how lazy one could be tempted to be with regional identifiers.

Unmistakable acidic profile, sharp and probing into the various reaches of the palate - the citrus certainly evident here, preserved lemons along with grapefruit acidity certainly freshening things up. Has a slippery feel to things too, again an observation and a differentiator to the many line and length, zip and zest offerings that can be found. Perfect Summer drinking. Seared scallops with preserved lemon all day long. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 10th January 2020
Source: Sample
Price: $26
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.pewseyvale.com/

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Castle Rock Estate Porongurup Pinot Noir 2018

Who doesn't love picking strawberries? One for you, one for the basket? A glass for you, a glass for me. Yes, it conveys strawberry in both aroma and taste - unmistakably so. 

Take it unto oneself, it's succulent with a vein of acidity that represents the wine's nervous system, about which all else hangs. 

The fruit, threading a savoury mien, casting a fine minerally tannin. Castle Rock wines just possess an inherent balance, here that fruit/savoury proposition hanging nicely. 93 

Tasted on: Friday 7th February 
Source: Sample
Price: $34
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://castlerockestate.com.au/

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Sunday, 9 February 2020

Smith & Hooper Pinot Grigio 2019

Pear drops, green apples, floral elements. Spiced, textural nuances - veering to more Gris like territory, straddling a fine line. 

Wrattonbully can do this, cooler and marginal maritime, leads to a slightly fuller and riper style. Give it 3-4 years if you like (but let's face it, you're going to drink it tonight, eh?).

Regardless of nomenclature - for want of a better word - it's a good quality wine. 91 

Tasted on: Saturday 11th January
Source: Sample
Price: $19
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.smithandhooper.com/

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Altus Rise Wildlight Shiraz 2018

Plum, Mulberry, hint of coffeed oak.

Succulent, medium bodied, mulberry and plum; fruit turns a touch jammy towards the back end. Pretty simple, straightforward wine. Moderate rub of tannin bolsters that. 


Decent medium-full Shiraz from Margaret River 87 

Tasted on: Thursday 30th January 
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.altusrise.com.au

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Saturday, 8 February 2020

Shaw Vineyard Estate Sparkling Cuvée 2018

Quince, stonefruit, custard apple in the mix too. Soft aromatics. 

Citrus generosity, akin to lemon sherbet; lively and fruity across the palate. Finesse it may be lacking, but frivolity is where it's at. At once it both slakes a thirst and enlivens the palate, a great aperitif style. 87

Tasted on: Tuesday 3rd December, a Root to Flower day 
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 12%
Closure: Cork
Website: https://shawwines.com.au/

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Running With Bulls Tempranillo 2018

The Running With Bulls range has been a consistent performer over the years, gravitating around the Tempranillo, but also includes a Garnacha. Back in the day there was also a Vermentino in its ranks, that now seems to have been replaced with a Verdejo! 

In the youthful, Joven, mould its redolent of summer berry fruits, of raspberry, redcurrant and morello cherry. 

Freshness and vitality that carries through to the palate, a succulent swathe of red fruit with a freshness of acidity and crunch of tannin.

Such a versatile style, drink alone or with friends; with a Chorizo, capsicum and red onion pizza; or. Albondigas in tomato sauce. The choice - and pleasure derived - is yours. 92 

Tasted on: Friday 10th January
Source: Sample
Price: $23
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.runningwithbulls.com.au/

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Friday, 7 February 2020

Tim Adams Pinot Gris 2019

A delightful and barely there blush of colour in the glass. Just ripe beurre blanc pear leads, stone fruit, subtle vanilla hints waft underneath, translating into an almost creaming soda aspect that flows gently across the palate.

A textural roundness and - yet- whilst dry does convey what may be perceived as a hint of residual on the palate. One could almost suspect some clever use of solids or such to give that texture and illusion, however a record dry vintage has given wines of quite remarkable fruit presence. A well made Gris for sure. 92

Tasted on: Wednesday 4th December
Source: Sample
Price: $24
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.timadamswines.com.au/

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Auld Family Wines Strawbridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Earth, dark chocolate, subtle eucalypt wafting through. Well pitched medium-full body - I've been impressed with the balance of these Auld Family Wines, nothing over-wrought, yet not sacrificing varietal character. 

Well worked, well executed. A finesse carries the wine with a flourish across the finish. A spike of tannin adding a textural edge. 92 (touch and go for a point higher).

Tasted on: Thursday 26th December 
Source: Sample
Price: $42
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://auldfamilywines.com/

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Thursday, 6 February 2020

Juniper Crossing Chardonnay 2018

It spends 9m in French Oak, of which 15% is new.

Stonefruit, leesy, bready notes; the 2018 guise saw an extra 5m on lees to build complexity. Fairly solid and voluminous wine,  of generosity and substance; Stonefruit, tropical fruit hints, subtle spice. Lees stirring post-ferment has built texture. 

It's of moderate length, more for now I'd suggest, perhaps for short term cellaring only, to 4 years. 91 

Tasted on: Tuesday 26th November, a Flower to Leaf day
Source: Sample
Price: $25
Alcohol: 135
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.juniperestate.com.au/

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Juniper Crossing Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2019

It's a 52/48 blend of the two respectively. A small portion of the Semillon (5%) was fermented in barrel. Additionally there was stirring of the lees to build extra texture. 

Well it's certainly an expressive number: Citrus, grass and herb, veering toward a suggestion of Gooseberry over blackcurrant leaf and passionfruit for some fruit relief. 

The texture on the palate evident, giving a fullness and feel, softening the acids without sacrificing altogether. A phenolic pinch on the back palate adds to the memory of the wine and delivering length. It's a very well worked wine. 91 

Tasted on: Thursday 28th November, a Leaf to Fruit day 
Source: Sample
Price: $22
Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: https://www.juniperestate.com.au/

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Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay 2019

Stonefruit, melon, creamy cashew and nougat; fresh and approachable, no oak presence to speak of - perhaps the merest smattering of oak derived spice.

Fruit presence is well defined across the palate, textural nuances, subtle spiced hints. For a wine that can be found around the $10-14 mark it's certainly well executed. 89 

Tasted on: Monday 18th November, a Leaf day 
Source: Sample
Price: $15
Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: www.yalumba.com

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Altus Rise Ascension Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Altus Rise is a relatively new label - at the time of writing the website doesn't even seem operational - with fruit sourced primarily from vineyards in the Yallingup sub-region of Margaret River. I think it fair to say that that wines are a work in progress at this early juncture, the promise is there mind - particularly in this 'Ascension' range.

Classic Margs profile, offering plump and inviting red/black fruit, dark chocolate and a spiced cedary aspect. 

Certainly some body about it, fine and powdery tannins coat the mouth, strong fruit comes on - darkly. Needs some time to settle, the flash of acidity suggests that time will be kind, but for now it's somewhat youthful and ungainly. The promise is there. 91+ 

Tasted on: Saturday 1st February 
Source: Sample
Price: $35
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Website: http://altusrise.com.au/

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Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz 2016

Old Adam sits perched top of the Bremerton tree, representing prime Langhorne Creek Shiraz, and built for the long haul. As such, it feels remiss to attempt to drink in youth, but sample and assess we must. Previous reviews available here.

Rich, deep set, coffeed oak wraps the aromatics up, offering glimpses of the deep fruit and spice that will eventually make themselves known.

Lavish across the palate, an acidic freshness carrying the wine with energy. Tannin feels somewhat subtle for a wine of this substance. Fruit rides in on waves, carrying itself in a flourish across the finish, blue and black in the main. As ever, a wine of substance and style, built for the long haul. 93

Tasted on: Sunday 2nd February 
Source: Sample
Price: $56
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: DIAM
Website: http://www.bremerton.com.au/

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